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5+ stars for A Beggar’s Bargain by Jan Sikes #bookreview #historicalfiction #fiction #booksworthreading

Title: A Beggar’s Bargain

Author: Jan Sikes

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mainstream Fiction


Book Blurb:


A shocking proposal that changes everything.


Desperate to honor his father’s dying wish, Layken Martin vows to do whatever it takes to save the family farm.


Once the Army discharges him following World War II, Layken returns to Missouri to find his legacy in shambles and in jeopardy. A foreclosure notice from the bank doubles the threat. He appeals to the local banker for more time—a chance to rebuild, plant, and harvest crops and time to heal far away from the noise of bombs and gunfire.


Only the banker firmly denies his request. Now what?


Then, the banker makes an alternative proposition—marry his unwanted daughter, Sara Beth, in exchange for a two-year extension. Out of options, money, and time, Layken agrees to the bargain.


Now, he has two years to make a living off the land while he shares his life with a stranger.


If he fails at either, he’ll lose it all.


My Review:


When Layken Martin enters the bank president’s office asking for an extension on the debt on his late parents’ farm, he never expected to leave with a bride.


Set in the immediate post-World War II Missouri, A Beggar’s Bargain is so much more than a story about two people trying to live with a bargain neither of them asked for. It’s a joyous testament to the individuals who represent everything good about rural America.


Layken and Sara Beth are married in name only but soon find common ground. In the process of rebuilding the farm, they find allies along the way. But more importantly, despite their desperate financial situation, they reach out and help others.


I thoroughly loved this story.


Jan Sikes recreated an authentic post-World War II rural American world, where generosity and compassion were as commonplace as the rooster crowing in the morning.


Sure, this story is about how Layken and Sara Beth adapt to their newfound marital status and what would happen after the two-year contract. Would Sara Beth leave the farm and build her own life?


But it’s also a sweeping, majestic view of the best of rural America. When Sara Beth discovers someone is stealing food from their farmhouse, her reaction is one of mercy, not anger. When Layken believes someone is in harm, he doesn’t hesitate to help—despite their meager financial circumstances.


Sikes created and developed well-rounded characters. When we meet Sara Beth, she’s timid from prior abuse, and doubts her ability to contribute to the agreement. We watch as she realizes her own value and feels she has a stake in the land too.


The couple encounters hard times as they prepare the long-neglected farm for planting. They’re also met with skepticism. It’s how they react to these events and attitudes that make A Beggar’s Bargain a compelling read.


This book deserves to go straight to the top of your TBR list.


My Rating: 5+ stars


Buy it Now:   






Author Biography:


Jan Sikes writes compelling and creative stories from the heart.

She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author, although she’s been an avid reader all her life. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. She brought the entertaining true story to life through fictitious characters in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books, accompanying music CDs, and a book of poetry and art.


And now, this author can’t put down the pen. She continues to write fiction in a variety of genres, and has published many award-winning short stories and novels.


Jan is an active blogger, a member of Story Empire, a devoted fan of Texas music, and a grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.


Social Media Links:



Reviewed by: Terry


B. Weeks
B. Weeks
Jun 10

Congratulations to Jan. This is a fantastic review!


Jan Sikes
Jan Sikes
Jun 10

Thank you SO much for this wonderful review! I am dancing on sunshine!!!

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 10
Replying to

You're so welcome!

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